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India A Snapshot

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India at a Glance

December, 2011

Introduction

India, officially the Republic of India, is the seventh largest country by geographical area, second largest in terms of population and most populous democracy in the world. The south Asian country is set apart from rest of the continent by the Great Himalayas and its southern peninsula is defined by the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian Sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south. Indians rightly uphold the status of 'unity-in-diversity' as they ethnically speak different languages, follow different religions and relish the most different kinds of foods.

Since its independence in 1947, India has made great progress and has developed its industry and agriculture in a way that today it boasts of a significant position on the world map. India has the fifth largest communication network and second largest rail network in the world. Statistics - revealing savings rate, foreign direct investment (FDI), literacy rate, foreign tourist arrivals, internet penetration etc – bring in the point that India has all the means to be a major power in future and the stupendous growth it has made in recent years would reap exponential benefits for the coming generations.

Other details relating to 'Incredible India' are discussed hereafter.

Location: India lies to the north of the equator in Southern Asia

Latitude: 8° 4' to 37° 6' north

Longitude: 68° 7' to 97° 25' east

Neighbouring Countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan share political borders with India on the West while Bangladesh and Myanmar stand adjacent on the Eastern borders. The northern boundary comprises the Sinkiang province of China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Sri Lanka is another neighbouring country which is separated by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

Capital: New Delhi

Coastline: 7517 km, including the mainland, the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.

Climate: Southern India majorly enjoys tropical climate but northern India experiences temperatures from sub-zero degrees to 50 degrees Celsius. Winters embrace northern India during December to February while springs blossom in March and April. Monsoons arrive in July and stay till September, followed by autumn in October and November.

Area: India measures 3, 214 km from north to south and 2, 933 km from east to west with a total land area of 3,287,263 sq km.


Natural Resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land.

Land: 2,973,190 sq km (2011)

Water: 314,070 sq km (2011)

Political Profile

Political System and Government:

The world's largest democracy implemented its Constitution in 1950 that provided for a parliamentary system of Government with a bicameral parliament and three independent branches: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The country has a federal structure with elected governments in States.

Administrative Divisions: 28 States and 7 Union Territories

Constitution: The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950